Sept. 23, 2004 For Harolyn Hansen, Paul M. Pearson Gardens is the place she calls home.
"I've lived here all my life," Hansen said of the housing community as she sat back in her office chair Thursday morning.
Pearson Garden is not only home for Hansen, but it is also her place of employment. She works as the secretary in the co-op office for the section of the community where tenants own their units.
But Hansen is not content with just residing and working at the community. She wants to give back to the place that has "given me so much." Hansen is spearheading a 50th anniversary celebration for the housing community, a celebration she hopes will bring community residents together.
"I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from the residents," Hansen, president of the PMP Gardens Past and Present Residents Association, said. The organization was formed in January by Hansen and several other residents and former residents.
"We decided to form it to work with the youth," Hansen said, adding that they wanted to provide positive community role models for the young people.
Hansen said a lot of good role models have come from the housing community, including Sens. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg and Celestino White and Judge Audrey Thomas. The association hopes to inspire the youth of the community by presenting them with these role models.
The idea of a 50th anniversary celebration came to Hansen while she was working on a basketball tournament for the youth in honor of a resident who had died. Hansen said she found out that Pearson Gardens was constructed 50 years ago.
"I decided then to have a celebration," Hansen said, adding that she brought the idea to the rest of the organization members who gladly agreed. The basketball tournament has been incorporated into the weeklong celebration.
"I feel so proud to have brought this community together in this way," Hansen said of the celebration.
Hansen's sister Carolyn, who was in the office with her said the celebration was a "fantastic" idea.
"Everybody was willing to come forward and help us in this effort," Carolyn Hansen said.
The event will take place Oct. 3-9 at the housing community with the exception of the church service. Here is a schedule of the events:
– Oct 3: Church service at St. Andrew's Church, 11 a.m.
– Oct 3: Opening ceremony at PMP field, 4 p.m.
– Oct. 4: Career achievement night
– Oct. 5: Crime prevention night
– Oct. 6: Spiritual and Gospel night
– Oct. 7: Cultural night
– Oct. 8: Block party and talent show
– Oct. 9: Fun day and closing activities.
"Everybody is welcome to attend," Harolyn Hansen said.
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